Veteranclaims’s Blog

November 16, 2021

Single Judge Application; In Smith v. Wilkie, 32 Vet.App. 332, 338-39 (2020), the Court held that the Board violates principles of fair process when it changes an earlier favorable credibility determination (or a statement that would reasonably lead a claimant to believe that there had been a favorable credibility determination rendered) without notifying or providing an opportunity for the claimant to respond to the credibility-determination change, but allowed the Board in some circumstances to revisit credibility determinations provided it notifies the claimant and provides an opportunity to respond.;

Designated for electronic publication only
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR VETERANS CLAIMS
NO. 20-5554
THOMAS J. TARON, APPELLANT,
V.
DENIS MCDONOUGH,
SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, APPELLEE.
Before BARTLEY, Chief Judge.
MEMORANDUM DECISION
Note: Pursuant to U.S. Vet. App. R. 30(a),
this action may not be cited as precedent.
BARTLEY, Chief Judge: Veteran Thomas J. Taron appeals through counsel a June 2, 2020,
Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) decision that denied service connection for a low back
disability. Record (R.) at 5-8. For the reasons that follow, the Court will affirm the June 2020
Board decision.
I. FACTS
Mr. Taron served honorably in the U.S. Air Force from February 1981 to April 1988 with
additional service in the Air Force Reserve. R. at 239, 1196.
A January 1984 hospital discharge summary indicates that Mr. Taron had presented with a
kidney stone. He demonstrated rapid improvement, including passing the stone, with rest and
liquids but still had left lower quadrant abdominal pain. R. at 994.
In August 1986, Mr. Taron reported to the emergency department reporting bilateral low
back pain of 2 days’ duration that radiated around both flanks. He reported a history of a kidney
2
stone 2 years prior. The physician provided rule-out diagnoses of kidney stone and urinary tract
infection and instructed Mr. Taron to follow-up with the urology service.1 R. at 997.
In December 1986, Mr. Taron sought treatment for left mid-to-lower back pain of
approximately 3 weeks’ duration, was diagnosed with a left upper lumbar strain, and was referred
to physical therapy for treatment. R. at 995. The subsequent physical therapy note indicates that
Mr. Taron reported a gradual onset of low back pain beginning approximately 2 weeks prior from
sleeping on a couch for a week. R. at 1021. The physical therapist diagnosed a left paravertebral
muscle strain. Id. One week later, Mr. Taron returned for a follow-up visit and reported no pain
over the preceding 4-5 days and that he was currently asymptomatic; at that time, he was
discharged from physical therapy. R. at 1022.
In January 2007, Mr. Taron filed, among other things, claims for service connection for a
low back strain and kidney stones. R. at 1228-38. At that time, he submitted a December 2006
private medical record indicating a history of 2 months of right lower back pain. R. at 1218.
Initially, the private physician believed Mr. Taron’s right flank pain to be consistent with kidney
stones, id., but, following additional visits and diagnostic imaging, subsequently diagnosed Mr.
Taron with lumbar disc disease, with minimal degenerative changes and slight disc bulging, and
right sciatica with lumbar radiculopathy, R. at 1212-26.
Following VA examination in February 2007, an examiner diagnosed lumbosacral muscle
strain, mild scoliosis with disc narrowing at the L4-L5 spinal level, facet sclerosis at the L5-S1
spinal level, and right sciatic neuritis. R. at 1204. The examiner noted that Mr. Taron reported that
“the pain started in the summer of 2006 and has gradually been getting worse.” Id. The examiner
also noted that Mr. Taron had a history of passing a kidney stone in the 1980s, but that he had not
had any recurrence. R. at 1202.
In November 2007, a VA regional office (RO) denied the claims for service connection. R.
at 1188-94. In October 2008, Mr. Taron filed a Notice of Disagreement, see R. at 1126, and,
following an April 2010 Statement of the Case, R. at 1126-51, he timely perfected an appeal to the
Board, R. at 1114.
1 “Rule out” or differential diagnoses are “possible diagnoses being considered[,] . . . treated as possibilities
to be ruled out” through further diagnostic research and tests. Dan Joseph Tennenhouse, Differential Diagnoses,
ATTORNEY’S MEDICAL DESKBOOK 2019, at § 15:17 (4th ed. Oct. 2019 update).
3
In October 2014, the Board denied service connection for a kidney stone disability.
However, the Board remanded the claim for a low back disability to obtain a new VA examination.
R. at 1059-70.
Upon VA examination in June 2018, Mr. Taron reported “that he has continued to have
intermittent lower back pain ever since service.” R. at 80. Following examination, the examiner
opined that it was less likely than not that the veteran’s low back disability, diagnosed as lumbar
strain with degenerative disc and degenerative joint disease, was related to the December 1986 inservice
lumbar strain. R. at 87-88. As rationale, the examiner noted a single “isolated episode” of
lower back pain that resolved without sequelae. R. at 88. The examiner also noted a gap of 20
years between service and the 2006-2007 treatment and opined that the low back disability was
more than likely due to the normal aging of the spine. Id.
In October 2018, the Board denied the claim, finding that Mr. Taron’s low back disability
did not have its onset during service or within one year of service discharge and was not otherwise
caused by service. R. at 34. In reaching its conclusion, the Board stated that, although Mr. Taron
was competent to report back pain, he was not competent to determine that his pain was a
manifestation of a back disability, nor was he competent to link any current back disability to
service. R. at 38. Instead, the Board found the June 2018 VA examiner’s opinion disclaiming a link
to service probative because it was based on an accurate medical history and provided an
explanation that contains clear conclusions and supporting data. Id.
Mr. Taron appealed the October 2018 Board decision to this Court. In December 2019, the
parties filed a joint motion for partial remand (JMPR), agreeing that the Board decision was not
supported by adequate reasons or bases. R. at 24-28. Specifically, the parties agreed that, although
Mr. Taron reported experiencing intermittent low back pain since service, the Board did not
consider whether service connection was warranted based on continuity of symptoms. R. at 25. As
such, the parties agreed that:
[T]he Board must address [the veteran’s] reports of continued low back pain since
service and provide a credibility determination as to these reports. If [the veteran]
is found credible, then the Board must readjudicate the service connection claim
for a low back disability with consideration and discussion of continuity of
symptomatology under 38 C.F.R. § 3.303(b).
R. at 26. The Court approved the JMPR in January 2020. R. at 29.
4
In the June 2020 decision on appeal, the Board again denied the claim, finding that the June
2018 VA examiner’s opinion was probative evidence against the claim. R. at 7-8. The Board stated
that, although Mr. Taron was competent to report intermittent back pain, “his reports are not
credible as his reports [are] inconsistent with other evidence of record.” R. at 7. This appeal
followed.
II. JURISDICTION AND STANDARD OF REVIEW
Mr. Taron’s appeal is timely and the Court has jurisdiction to review the June 2020 Board
decision pursuant to 38 U.S.C. §§ 7252(a) and 7266(a). Single-judge disposition is appropriate.
See Frankel v. Derwinski, 1 Vet.App. 23, 25-26 (1990).
Board determinations regarding service connection are findings of fact subject to the
“clearly erroneous” standard of review. 38 U.S.C. § 7261(a)(4); see Davis v. West, 13 Vet.App.
178, 184 (1999). “A factual finding ‘is “clearly erroneous” when although there is evidence to
support it, the reviewing court on the entire evidence is left with the definite and firm conviction
that a mistake has been committed.'” Hersey v. Derwinski, 2 Vet.App. 91, 94 (1992) (quoting
United States v. U.S. Gypsum Co., 333 U.S. 364, 395 (1948)).
The Board must support its material determinations of fact and law with adequate reasons
or bases. 38 U.S.C. § 7104(d)(1); Pederson, 27 Vet.App. at 286; Allday v. Brown, 7 Vet.App. 517,
527 (1995); Gilbert v. Derwinski, 1 Vet.App. 49, 56-57 (1990). To comply with this requirement,
the Board must analyze the credibility and probative value of evidence, account for evidence it
finds persuasive or unpersuasive, and provide reasons for its rejection of material evidence
favorable to the claimant. Caluza v. Brown, 7 Vet.App. 498, 506 (1995), aff’d per curiam, 78 F.3d
604 (Fed. Cir. 1996) (table).
III. ANALYSIS
Mr. Taron argues that because the June 2018 VA examination is inadequate the Board erred
by failing to ensure compliance with VA’s duty to assist. Appellant’s Brief (Br.) at 14-16. He
contends that the Board violated Miller v. Wilkie, 32 Vet.App. 249, 261 (2020), when it expressly
found his statements not credible after previously implicitly finding them credible. Id. at 17-19.
Finally, he argues that, if the Board did not violate Miller, it otherwise failed to provide adequate
5
reasons or bases for finding his statements not credible. Id. at 19-23. The Secretary disputes these
contentions and urges the Court to affirm the Board decision. Secretary’s Br. at 7-17. The Court
agrees with the Secretary
A. In-service Complaints of Back Pain
As an initial matter, the Court must address the veteran’s contentions about in-service
complaints of low back pain as they serve as the foundation for several of his arguments of error.
Mr. Taron asserts that the June 2018 VA examiner’s opinion and the Board’s reasons or bases are
deficient, in part, because they rely on an incorrect statement that service medical records reflect
a single instance of low back pain in December 1986. Appellant’s Br. at 14-15, 21; Reply Br. 1-4;
see R. at 6-7 (Board’s recitation of the service medical records), 88 (June 2018 VA examiner’s
description). Mr. Taron contends that there are four instances of low back pain documented in the
service medical records: January 1984, R. at 994; August 1986, R. at 997-98; October 1986, R. at
995; and December 1986, R. at 1021-22. Appellant’s Br. at 15. However, he misstates the facts.
The January 1984 service hospital discharge summary reflects that Mr. Taron was admitted
for a left kidney stone and was discharged after he passed the stone and his condition improved.
R. at 994. The record reflects that Mr. Taron was experiencing left lower quadrant abdominal pain,
id., but Mr. Taron argues the term “left lower quadrant” is vague, Appellant’s Br. at 3 n.2, and that
this ambiguity should be resolved in his favor and the record should be deemed as demonstrating
low back pain. Id. However, “left lower quadrant” is not vague—it refers to a specific abdominal
region. See DORLAND’S ILLUSTRATED MEDICAL DICTIONARY 1541 (33d ed. 2019) (defining
quadrant, in part, as “any one of four corresponding parts or quarters, as of the abdominal surface
. . .” and providing a picture detailing the four abdominal quadrants (right upper, left upper, right
lower, and left lower)). Therefore, the Court finds no ambiguity in the January 1984 service record.
Mr. Taron argues that the August 1986 emergency department record contains lines of
illegible text and it is not clear that this record relates solely to kidney stones. Reply Br. at 2. But
the Court finds the document completely legible. The record reflects complaints of low back pain
that the treating physicians believed were attributable to a kidney stone; that Mr. Taron presented
to the emergency department with complaints of two days of bilateral low back pain centered at
L1-L3 with radiating pain around both flanks. R. at 997. The physician noted Mr. Taron’s history
of a kidney stone 2 years prior and examination revealed a healthy male with a clear chest in no
6
apparent distress, and noted normal findings upon abdominal, back, genitourinary, and neurologic
examination. Id. The physician suspected a kidney stone or urinary tract infection,2 Mr. Taron was
prescribed, as relevant, an antibiotic, and was instructed to follow-up with urology. Id. Although
Mr. Taron reported back pain nothing on the face of the record suggests a source of this pain other
than a urinary condition.
As to the other instances of in-service back pain as asserted by Mr. Taron, the Court agrees
with the Board that there was single event of low back pain in December 1986 that lasted several
weeks. Mr. Taron points to R. at 995 as evidence of low back pain in October 1986 and R. at 1021-
22 as evidence of low back pain in December 1986. But R. at 995 merely contains a handwritten
date of October 1, 1986, that refers to a PRP (personnel reliability program) audit, not a separate
instance of back pain. See R. at 997-98 (also containing notations regarding a PRP audit and
referring to AFR 35-9). The December 1986 treatment note shows that Mr. Taron reported
approximately 3 weeks of left lower thoracic and upper lumbar pain; the clinician diagnosed left
upper lumbar strain and referred Mr. Taron to physical therapy. Id.; see R. at 1021 (physical
therapy referral from the service clinician also dated December 30, 1986, and reflecting the same
reported history of 3 weeks of left upper lumbar strain). The physical therapist conducting
treatment on December 31, 1986, noted that Mr. Taron reported approximately 2 weeks of pain
after sleeping on a couch for a week and provided a diagnosis of left paravertebral muscle strain.
R. at 1021. When Mr. Taron returned for a follow-up visit on January 5, 1987, he reported 4 to 5
days of no pain and that he was currently asymptomatic. R. at 1022. Therefore, although multiple
records reflect complaints of low back pain, those records, as correctly characterized by the June
2018 VA examiner and the June 2020 Board, accurately describe a documented instance of
treatment for the back in December 1986.
B. Credibility of Lay Statements

  1. Purported Miller violation
    Mr. Taron argues that the Board violated Miller when it rendered an adverse credibility
    finding in its June 2020 decision after it previously rendered a favorable credibility finding in its
    2 Mr. Taron incorrectly asserts that the physician’s notation of “R/O Renal Lithiasis,” R. at 997, means that a
    kidney stone was ruled out as the source of his back pain. Reply Br. at 3 n.2. As indicated in footnote 1, “rule out”
    means that the listed condition should be further considered as a diagnosis.
    7
    October 2018 decision. Specifically, he asserts that “[i]n Miller, this Court held that the Board
    cannot insert a credibility determination after a previous Board decision failed to make any such
    credibility determination.” Appellant’s Br. at 17 (citing Miller, 32 Vet.App. at 261); see id. at 18.
    He asserts that his case demonstrates precisely the same scenario as Mr. Miller’s and that the Board
    in his case erred by revisiting the issue of credibility. Id. at 17. However, the veteran misreads
    Miller and ignores the history of his claim.
    In Miller, the Court discussed our ability to review the Board’s implicit fact-finding in the
    decision before us to determine the proper remedy when the parties agreed that a VA examiner’s
    opinion was inadequate because it failed to address the veteran’s lay statements. 32 Vet.App. at
    260-62. Although the Secretary argued that the case should be remanded for the Board to address
    the credibility of the lay statements, the Court said that “[w]hen the Board has made its decision
    without finding that the veteran is not competent to report symptoms and nothing suggests that the
    Board failed to review the evidence at issue, we may reasonably conclude that it implicitly found
    the veteran credible.” Id. at 261. Going further, we said that “where the Board has not found the
    veteran to not be credible or otherwise called credibility into question, neither our review nor the
    veteran’s understanding is generally frustrated when it comes to credibility.” Id. at 262. Therefore,
    we held that in situations where a VA examiner failed to address the veteran’s lay statements and
    the Board had not found those statements not credible or competent, that there was no reason “for
    the Board to go over the exact same record yet, suddenly, with no new evidence, divine a reason
    to question the veteran’s credibility.” Instead, the proper remedy was to direct VA to obtain a new
    examination. Id.
    Miller is inapplicable to Mr. Taron’s appeal because the Board in the June 2020 decision
    under consideration made an express finding that Mr. Taron’s statements were not credible.
    Although Mr. Taron asks us to conclude that the Board made an implicit favorable credibility
    determination in the October 2018 decision, to do so we would have to ignore the December 2019
    JMPR where the parties agreed that the Board must, upon readjudication, address the credibility
    of the veteran’s lay statements. See R. at 25-26 (“[T]he Board must address [the veteran’s] reports
    . . . and provide a credibility determination as to these reports. If [the veteran] is found credible,
    then the Board must readjudicate the service connection claim . . . with consideration and
    discussion of continuity of symptom[s].”) (emphasis added). Thus, even if the Court could
    8
    conclude that the 2018 Board made an implicit credibility determination, the Court-approved
    JMPR instructed the Board to revisit the credibility of the veteran’s lay statements.
    Mr. Taron attempts to avoid the JMPR in three ways. First, he argues that, because the
    terms of the JMPR provided that he may submit additional evidence and argument, R. at 26, he is
    free to argue now before the Court that the October 2018 Board decision contained an implicit
    favorable credibility determination, Reply Br. at 6-7.3 Second, he argues that he is not attempting
    to retroactively apply Miller, which issued in January 2020, because it is the June 2020 Board
    decision that violated Miller. Id. at 7. Third, he argues, albeit without much discussion, that Miller
    represented a favorable change in the law during the pendency of the appeal. Id. at 7-8.
    But Mr. Taron overstates the holding of Miller. Although Miller counsels that, where the
    Court has determined that the Board has made an implicit favorable credibility finding, the Board
    should not, without new evidence, revisit that credibility determination upon readjudication, Miller
    is not an absolute bar against the Board revisiting a credibility determination.4 Nor did Miller
    address a situation like Mr. Taron’s where the Court is being asked to review for an implicit
    credibility determination made in a Board decision prior to the one on appeal. Therefore, even if
    the Court were to agree that the October 2018 Board decision contained an implicit favorable
    credibility determination, the Court cannot agree that the Board violated the “express holding” of
    Miller when it rendered an adverse credibility determination, particularly as the Court approved
    the parties’ JMPR specifically directing the Board to address the veteran’s credibility and then the
    Board followed that directive.
  2. Adequate Reasons or Bases
    Mr. Taron next argues that, even if the Board did not violate Miller in its June 2020
    decision, it nonetheless failed to support its adverse credibility determination with adequate
    reasons or bases for two reasons. Appellant’s Br. at 19-23. First, he argues that the Board failed to
    3 There is no indication that Mr. Taron submitted additional evidence or argument when the case returned to
    the Board for readjudication.
    4 In Smith v. Wilkie, 32 Vet.App. 332, 338-39 (2020), the Court held that the Board violates principles of fair process when it changes an earlier favorable credibility determination (or a statement that would reasonably lead a
    claimant to believe that there had been a favorable credibility determination rendered) without notifying or providing an opportunity for the claimant to respond to the credibility-determination change, but allowed the Board in some circumstances to revisit credibility determinations provided it notifies the claimant and provides an opportunity to respond.

    9
    establish a proper foundation for relying on the absence of medical documentation of complaints
    of low back pain. Id. at 19-21. Second, he argues that the Board failed to distinguish his complaints
    of left low back pain from complaints of right low back pain and sciatica, which he argues are
    separate and distinct symptoms. Id. at 21-23. Neither argument is persuasive.
    “[T]he Board, as factfinder, is responsible for assessing the credibility, competence, and
    probative value of evidence,” and it must provide adequate reasons or bases for those findings.
    Wise v. Shinseki, 26 Vet.App. 517, 526 (2014) (citing Buchanan v. Nicholson, 451 F.3d 1331, 1376
    (Fed. Cir. 2006)). When assessing the credibility of lay statements, the Board may consider factors
    such as facial plausibility, bias, self-interest, and consistency with other evidence of record.
    Jandreau v. Nicholson, 492 F.3d 1372, 1376 (Fed. Cir. 2007); Buchanan, 451 F.3d at 1337;
    Caluza, 7 Vet.App. at 511. The Board may not, however, determine that lay statements lack
    credibility merely because they are not corroborated by contemporaneous medical records.
    Buchanan, 451 F.3d at 1336.
    Mr. Taron argues that the Board erred in finding his statements of continuity of low back
    pain since his separation from active duty service not credible when it impermissibly relied on the
    absence of medical records corroborating his lay statements. However, he overlooks that the Board
    did not rely solely on the absence of documentation to find his statements not credible; it also
    found his statements inconsistent with the additional evidence of record. R. at 7. The Board pointed
    to several statements wherein Mr. Taron reported that his back pain began in the summer of 2006,
    including a November 2006 private treatment record, see R. at 1218; the April 2007 VA
    examination, see R. at 1204; and an October 2008 statement. R. at 7. The Board also stated that
    Mr. Taron specifically denied current or a history of recurrent back pain on August 1991 and July
    1996 report of medical history forms. Id.; see R. at 599-600 (August 1991), 601-02 (July 1996).
    Thus, there is no Buchanan violation here.
    Mr. Taron argues that the Board’s reliance on evidence indicating that his low back pain
    began in 2006 was inadequately explained, and that the Board failed to appreciate a distinction in
    his statements that he experienced left low back pain since service whereas his right low back pain
    started in 2006. Appellant’s Br. at 21-23. He posits that he has two distinct lumbar spine
    conditions—degenerative arthritis of the spine, manifested by left low back pain, and sciatica,
    manifested by right low back and leg pain. Id. at 21. As he argues:
    10
    Mr. Taron reported back pain numerous times while in service, and has stated
    [during the June 2018 VA examination] that he had continuously experienced pain
    in the left side of his back since his initial in-service reports. On the other hand, Mr.
    Taron first reported pain associated with sciatica in the right side of his back and
    his right leg in 2006. It was in the context of his sciatica that Mr. Taron stated that
    he had pain over the right lower back area for the past two months or so.
    Failing to appreciate this distinction, the Board relied on this November 10, 2006
    statement as an admission that he had only been experiencing back pain for two
    months prior to this time. To the contrary, Mr. Taron was reporting his sciatica
    symptoms which are separate and distinct from his degenerative arthritis of the
    spine—which impacts the left side of his back. In fact, the January 8, 2007 [VA]
    exam[iner] recognized that Mr. Taron’s sciatica does not appear necessarily to be
    associated with the lumbar disk, which is bulging more toward the left than the
    right. Despite this evidence, the Board failed to comprehend this distinction and the
    context of his November 10, 2006 statement.
    Id. at 21-23 (internal quotations and citations omitted).
    Mr. Taron overstates the evidence. As noted, and as the Board found, his service medical
    records show treatment for a back condition during service in December 1986, not multiple
    instances. The December 1986 report does not reflect continuous pain. And the veteran reported
    intermittent left low back pain during the June 2018 VA examination, not continuous. R. at 80. In
    addition, although Mr. Taron correctly recites the January 2007 VA examiner’s statement about
    the bulging disc, R. at 1203, the examiner did not diagnose degenerative arthritis of the spine or
    purport to explain the significance of the bulging disc, see R. at 1203-04.
    Further, there is no indication in the record that the Board should have appreciated any
    purported distinction that Mr. Taron now attempts to draw between right-sided and left-sided back
    issues. Despite the June 2018 VA examiner noting that the December 1986 episode of low back
    pain involved the left side, the report does not specify that Mr. Taron’s reported intermittent pain
    since service was experienced only on the left side. Nowhere in the record, including in the
    December 2019 JMPR filed through counsel, did Mr. Taron make a distinction between left-sided
    pain, which he now attempts to link without support to the degenerative arthritis, and right-sided
    sciatica beginning in 2006. Without such an issue being expressly raised to the Board or reasonably
    raised through the evidence of record, and considering that this case was previously before the
    Court in 2018 and this issue was not raised, the Court concludes that the Board did not err by
    failing to address any purported distinction. See Robinson v. Shinseki, 557 F.3d 1355, 1361 (Fed.
    Cir. 2009).
    11
    C. Adequacy of the June 2018 VA Medical Opinion
    Mr. Taron asserts that the examiner’s opinion is inadequate because it is based on
    interrelated misstatements of fact. Appellant’s Br. at 14-15. Specifically, he challenges the
    examiner’s notations that service medical records reflected a single episode of back pain in
    December 1986. Id.; see R. at 80, 88. However, as we decided above, there is no merit to these
    arguments and the Court finds the Secretary persuasive on this matter.
    Mr. Taron also argues that the examiner improperly relied on the absence of
    contemporaneous medical records and failed to consider his lay statements regarding continuity of
    symptoms. Appellant’s Br. at 16 (citing Buchanan, 451 F.3d at 1336, and Dalton v. Nicholson,
    21 Vet.App. 23, 39 (2007), for the premise that a medical opinion is inadequate if the examiner
    relies “solely on the absence of objective documentation without consideration of a claimant’s lay
    statements”). However, even if the Court were to conclude that the examiner failed to consider the
    veteran’s lay statements about continuity, any error in the examiner’s omission would be harmless
    because the Board found those statements not credible, a finding that the Court has determined is
    not clearly erroneous. See 38 U.S.C. § 7261(b)((2); Shinseki v. Sanders, 556 U.S. 396, 409 (2009).
    Accord Reonal v. Brown, 5 Vet.App. 458, 461 (1993) (“An opinion based upon an inaccurate
    factual premise has no probative value.”). Thus, any challenge to the June 2018 opinion based on
    the lay statements that the Board found not credible must fail.
    The Court concludes that the Board properly addressed the credibility of the veteran’s lay
    statements pursuant to the Court-approved JMPR and that that determination was not clearly
    erroneous and was adequately explained. The Court further concludes that the Board did not err
    by relying on the June 2018 VA examiner’s opinion to deny the claim. In sum, the Board’s analysis
    is consistent with governing law, plausible in light of the record, and sufficiently detailed to inform
    Mr. Taron of the reasons for its determination that service connection for a low back disability was
    not warranted and to facilitate judicial review. See Allday, 7 Vet.App. at 527; Caluza, 7 Vet.App.
    at 506. Accordingly, the Court will affirm the June 2020 Board decision.
    IV. CONCLUSION
    Upon consideration of the foregoing, the June 2, 2020, Board decision is AFFIRMED.
    DATED: October 29, 2021
    12
    Copies to:
    Jonathan C. Heiden, Esq.
    VA General Counsel (027)

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